20K litres of fuel spilled after loaded tanker crashes near Nunavut gold mine

An estimated 20,000 litres of fuel were spilled in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut after a loaded fuel tanker rolled over on a winter road at the Meadowbank mine complex.

Meadowbank mine owners said it immediately launched safety and remediation efforts and closed road

In this March 24, 2009 file photo, a speed limit sign is seen along the road near the Meadowbank gold mine in Nunavut. The mine's owner said a loaded tanker that rolled over resulted an an estimated 20,000-litre fuel spill. (Nathan Denette/CP)

An estimated 20,000 litres of fuel were spilled near the Meadowbank gold mine in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut after a loaded fuel tanker rolled over on an all-season road.

In a news release on Tuesday, Agnico Eagle, Meadowbank Complex's owner, said it doesn't appear as though fuel has entered any freshwater body. It said the spill was reported on Monday.

The road was closed as Meadowbank personnel implemented emergency spill measures and ongoing remediation action, the release said. 

The tanker rolled over at kilometre 87 of the all-weather access road, a site around 14 kilometres southwest of the mine. A spokesperson for Agnico Eagle said the driver was arriving at the mine carrying fuel from Baker Lake.

A contractor owned and operated the fuel tanker, the release said, and the driver was uninjured in the accident but was taken to the site health clinic to be evaluated. 

Agnico Eagle said it had notified the federal and territorial authorities and the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA).

A spokesperson said the cause of the crash is not known, but an investigation is ongoing. 

The N.W.T. territorial government listed the diesel spill on its website that tracks incidents. The website lists Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) as the lead agency on the matter. 

Reached by email, a spokesperson for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada said the department is looking into the incident, and that water licence inspectors will visit "as soon as possible" to observe the cleanup measures underway. 

CBC News reached out to CIRNAC and the KIA about the incident, but did not receive a response by deadline. 

The Meadowbank Mine is located about 110 kilometres north of Baker Lake.